Even though shows such as The Voice and American Idol focus solely on musicians, America’s Got Talent has had its fair share of blockbuster musical moments. Amidst the magicians and ventriloquists, music tends to rise to the top. In fact, eight of the show’s victors so far have been musicians. With celebrity judges that have included Simon Cowell, Brandy, Mel B, and Julianne Hough over the seasons, it’s certainly not an easy feat to sing in front of the panel.
Over its 17 seasons thus far, the popular NBC talent competition show has launched Billboard-charting acts such as Michael Grimm, Grace VanderWaal, and Bianca Ryan. The show’s British equivalent, Britain’s Got Talent, introduced the world to Susan Boyle — a singer who topped the Billboard 200 twice in a year following her second-place finish on season three of the show.
While most AGT musical acts tend to perform covers for their auditions and subsequent live performances, some contestants are fearless enough to offer up original songs. Ranging from ruminations on depression to dedications to fathers, these original tunes span myriad genres and themes. Nonetheless, the artists generally impressed the judges, and, more importantly, the viewers in some capacity.
During the current season of America’s Got Talent, five of the six acts to receive the Golden Buzzer were musicians, and two of them sang original songs. Not relying on familiar melodies and lyrics to help move forward in the competition can seem daunting, but there are America’s Got Talent contestants who rose to the challenge and delivered some of the most memorable moments in music and TV with their own musical creations.
Read on for 17 of the best original songs — in order of their seasons — in America’s Got Talent history.